We’re debating re-joining the gym at a significant cost or working out at home with free online exercise videos. So far, I’m digging Jillian’s Michael’s 30-day Shred on YouTube and loving the zero cost. But I also miss swimming at the gym and the social aspect of working out. I need your advice – should we splurge and join the gym or workout at home for free?
Do you pay to work out?
Looking for something else? Go to 20 ways to get fit on a budget OR six tricks to workout on the cheap.
Cost of joining the gym
A family membership to our local YMCA is $76 per month for two adults and two children. There is a $75 joiner fee, which they will not waive (I asked). Our annual cost is $987.
We would pay for it without HSA card that we’ve loaded up with pre-tax dollars. But still, $987 is a lot of money considering we could watch exercise videos online at home for free.
Pros of joining a gym
- We’d have access to a pool to swim! Great exercise and low chance of injury compared to other sports, like volleyball or Ultimate Frisbee.
- My husband could use the YMCA near his office to swim or workout on his lunch break.
- We’d get a small discount on the kids’ gymnastics and swimming classes.
- We’d be part of a wonderful community.
Pros of working out at home
- HUGE savings! With that $987, we could get nine massages, go out to 19 dinners, or fund half of our summer vacation.
- Bonding time. We’ve been having a lot of fun exercising together after the girls go to bed.
- We’re saving a lot of time because the 30-day Shred video is less than 28 minutes (watch it below!) A 30 minute swim takes an hour and 15 minutes, door to door.
- The video is actually pretty fun. Jillian is encouraging while not letting you slack off. And the pacing is quick enough that I don’t get bored (except for the push ups – those are brutal!)
- When we are ready for a more intense workout, we can go to level two. Also free. And there’s a level three!
- No pressure to find the best deals on workout clothes.
Get fit with us! The 30-day shred video LEVEL 1 that we’ve been doing:
Do you belong to the gym? I miss swimming but now that the weather’s warming up I can see myself running again.
I do yoga so can speak from that perspective that I think classes are much more personalized and I am less likely to injure myself with a teacher observing and correcting. I think you need more willpower to work out at home. There is always something that needs doing so its easy to put if off. Also BB figure out the savings of using the gym’s water supply into your budget for showers. Of course this is from a So. Cal. perspective where water is getting more and more scarce. I would go with the gym. You would get a much more varied workout.
Michelle Turchin Ventresca says
I would say save your money and do the videos…The only thing I have reservations with is if we are doing the exercises with the correct form. If you do it wrong you can injure yourself, and not get the full benefit of the exercises themselves…..I just read Diana’s opinion and I kind of agree with her on the fact that there’s more likelihood of working out if you have someone else watching you (other than a family member) and I don’t think you push yourself to the limits if you are at home.
It all depends on your fitness goals – if your goal is to build and shape lean muscle, then joining a gym is your best bet (although you could also create your own home gym, which of course will also cost money). If your goal is to simply be physically active, then you could easily stick with the at-home cardio circuit videos. Personally, I have difficulty finding the motivation to workout at home. My home is my castle, my place of relaxation…I don’t equate it with physical productivity. It was also easier for me to slack off at home. With other people around me at the gym, I feel a lot more motivated to complete my sets. You may be different, and if that’s the case, then that’s great!